Arguably the most successful ventriloquist of the modern era, Jeff Dunham has been entertaining millions of people with his television and live performances particularly since he soared to fame in the 1980s. Jeff has managed to appear in countless television shows and even starring in his own short-lived, self-titled series in 2009.
Jeff has managed to create numerous characters that he uses in his act and appearances which has garnered him quite the following over the years. He is reportedly the third highest paid comedian behind Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. Plus, he has sold millions of DVDs of his live shows and performances.
Jeff Dunham History
Born on April 18th, 1962 in Dallas, Texas, Jeff was adopted by Howard Dunham and his wife Joyce who raised him in a more affluent Dallas neighborhood. The turning point in his life occurred on Christmas, 1970 when he received a Mortimer Snerd dummy and how-to album. Jeff began practicing consistently during his early years determined to be the best ventriloquist ever.
He garnered considerable fame in the 1970s in the Dallas area thanks to his remarkable talent which landed him local TV commercials and event the attention of star quarterback Roger Staubach.
Upon graduating high school in 1980, Jeff was determined to land a gig on The Tonight Show which was considered the high point for any comedian.
Jeff attended Baylor University, but spent most of his time honing his craft and landing featured stand-up gigs earning him a remarkable $70,000 a year. Jeff finally graduated in 1986 and continued to work diligently towards his goal, although it was difficult as ventriloquism was considered a past-its-prime art form. By 1990 after years of honing his act Jeff managed to land the coveted Tonight Show gig, but while he did well on the air, his career didn’t take off properly and he struggled for the next dozen years.
By 2003, Dunham was appearing on Comedy Central, but it was self-financing his first comedy DVD “Jeff Dunham: Arguing with Myself” that provided the breakthrough. Comedy Central finally aired the show and it went through the proverbial roof with over two million viewers. His second special not only cemented Jeff’s status as a true star, but also became one of the most viral videos in YouTube history thanks to his controversial character “Achmed the Dead Terrorist”.
Jeff Dunham Current Success
Jeff soared to such heights in 2008 and 2009 with his comedy releases, live performances, and appearances on television that he has essentially become the best, most well known ventriloquist in recent times. His many different characters have been huge hits with audiences which includes:
- Jose Jalapeno on a Stick
- Bubba J
- Melvin the Superhero Guy
- Sweet Daddy Dee
- Achmed the Dead Terrorist and his son Achmed Jr. and more.
However, it is arguably Walter, the sour-faced Vietnam Vet who is not happy about much of anything that has really propelled Jeff into stardom.
Jeff Dunham continues to send audiences into hysterics with his rich and sometimes controversial act due to using occasional foul language that has entertained audiences around the world.
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